I like a vegetable as much as the next girl, but I am the first to admit that they can sometimes be time-consuming to prepare. (I’m looking at you, fava beans.*) As a consolation for the minutes I lose shelling fresh beans or dicing winter squash or washing mountains of greens, though, there are the times when I can cook a vegetable whole (like that cauliflower!) with little or no preparation at all. This is one of those times. Pan, oil, whole peppers, salt, and they’re ready for the table. My mother in law regularly makes these peppers to great acclaim, and I follow her method, described in full in the previous sentence. Pan-frying whole peppers works for any thin-walled sweet or mildly spicy pepper; here we used banana peppers from our CSA. Get these peppers frying while you slice up tomatoes and nectarines for a simple salad, and dinner is almost ready. (We served this combination alongside grilled trout, but if you’re looking for a vegetarian option I like the idea of these two dishes alongside tasty herb-packed quinoa cakes.)
Pan-Fried Peppers: Cook whole peppers in a Tbsp. or two of olive oil over medium-high heat, using a tongs to rotate occasionally. Cook until the peppers are browned in several placed and collapsed, then sprinkle with sea salt and serve with a knife and fork so that each eater can remove their own tops and seeds.
*I promise to stop talking about fava beans soon, but look what this smart woman does: she grills or boils the fava pods whole and has her guests shuck them as they go, edamame-style. Brilliant!